Short version - Great breakfast at 8. On the dive boat by 9 for 2 morning dives. Back at the Reef House around noon for excellent lunch. Lounge. Back on the dive boat at 2:22 for another afternoon dive. Back at the Reef House by 4:30. (dives are for as long as 60 minutes) Lounge until it's time for an excellent dinner at 7:00. Lounge until bed time. Wake up the next day and repeat. If this sounds like your ideal trip, this is your place. It is in the center of the island, on the south shore. There is less tourism on this side of the island and the reef is in excellent shape. I didn't dive the west end, so can't really compare them though.
7 Things you need to know;
1) There are no shops, restaurants, or anything else to see or do in the village of Oak Ridge where the Reef House is. In fact, the resort is on a small island just off the main island and is accessible only by boat. It's all about diving, relaxing. (or snorkeling if you don't dive) Snorkelers seemed welcome on the dive boat. There is also excellent diving/snorkling right off the dock at the Reef House.
2) Meals at the Reef House are a community affair. Everyone sits at a big table in the dinning room. You don't order, you eat what ever the wonderful cook has decided to make for you.
Even if you are supper picky about food, like my son, this is probably NOT a problem. Even he would tell you that it's all very good. If you tell them before hand of any allergies or dietary needs they are more than happy to accommodate if at all possible.
3) The Reef House is more of a Bed and Breakfast place. Not necessarily what some people think of when you say "Resort".
4) This one goes for the entire Island of Roatan, not just the Reef House. No paper goes in the toilets. none. It all goes in the frequently emptied trash can. I mean even at the airport.
5)This is also for the entire island, double for any stretch of beach, wear bug spray AT ALL TIMES. They have no-see-ums aka; sand flies. Look for something with a 15% solution of Picaridin. It works much better than Deet, and unlike Deet, it doesn't brake down rubber or silicon (your gear)
6) Don't worry about changing your money. (if your from the US anyway) Every place takes dollars or Lampieras. (20lp to a dollar when we where there in early August)
7) The power will go out randomly. Apparently the local power company can't reroute power so if they need to work on something they just shut down power. It was never off for more than an hour when we were there.
Like so many of the reviews say, this place is about 2 things, diving and relaxing. We did 14 dives in 5 days. We missed 1 dive due to a hurricane, but we did the 2 morning dives in the storm. The dive master said "if there is no lighting, we can dive." Each dive has it's own unique flavor. Yeah they were all wall dives, but no 2 spots were quite the same. The dive master, David (Da-Veed), was instrumental in making this an amazing trip. Beyond being extremely nice and funny, as well as very serious and professional about dive safety, He was exceptionally good at finding hard to see life to share with the rest of our dive group. During our stay the dive groups ranged from 3 people to 8 people. But they do have 2 dive boats so can accommodate more people. I saw dive boats on the West End side of the island completely loaded up with people. No idea how THAT works well.
We rented BCDs, wet suites, regs, and computers from the Reef House. Other than a small rip in the color of my 3/4 wet suite everything seemed to be in good shape and well taken care of. There were the inevitable mechanical (o-ring) issues while out on the boat, but they would swap you out with a spare rig and Choco, the boat captain, would repair the unit in question while you were diving.
The food is fantastic. Never had anything (at the Reef House) that wasn't at least "really good". The Conch burger lunch was one of my favorites. Lobster and steak night was certainly a big hit as well. As mentioned earlier, it is "family style" dinning. The bar was a self server honor system. You start an index card with your name and room number and just right down everything you drink. The locally brewed beers aren't bad. Regarding food on the rest of the island; i had a burger in the little town of West End that i'm pretty sure was horse meat. It was far and away the nastiest "beef" I've ever eaten. Stick with seafood and your good to go, as my much wiser son did.
Peggy, the owner, David (not the dive master) and Davey were super nice. It felt more like they were having you as a guest at there house rather than place of business. You socilaize with them as much as with the other guests. They seem to be willing to do what ever they can to make your trip everything you want it to be. If it's available on the island but they don't have it, they will do everything within reason to get it for you. One day they brought in 2 masseuses.
The rooms are small but not cramped. The beds were wonderfully comfortable. Our room had 2 full/queen pillow top beds. The floors appeared to be made of some high reason hard wood and were quite attractive. There is no central AC, but there is a very effective window unit. Combined with the ceiling fan this made it perfectly comfortable for sleeping, and i like to sleep in cold rooms. The restrooms... well, this is a tropical environment so the salt in the air combined with the constant humidity in a rest room is just a harsh environment. What I'm saying here is that you wont be disappointed that there's no tub to relax in, but they are by no stretch unsanitary. The shower drains onto the ground below the elevated building.
The common areas.
There is no beach at the Reef House. There is no fresh water pool. There is a salt water basin that is in effect a giant tidal pool. Lots of life in it. There are plenty of comfy chairs to kick back and read your book in all along the water front and on the deck. There are some picnic tables in a covered area that opens into the bar. They are a great place to sit at with your laptop and unload and review the hundreds of photos you took on that days dives.
Internet & TV.
They do have WiFi. It is best used in the dining/game area, and the bar/deck area. It did reach our room but was pretty weak. Also, it is a satellite connection, so when it works it works well. But any bad weather will take it off the air. This happened fairly frequently while we were there. Again, I have the impression that the entire island gets it's internet and TV from satellite, so this is not unique to the Reef House. The do have flat panel TV's in each room. We turned ours on once.... for 5 minuets.
If you want to get as much under water time as possible in what is possibly the best diving area in the Caribbean, you enjoy meeting other divers from all over the world, and you get excited at the thought of wonderful home cooked meals, then you wont be disappointed in the Reef House.
If you want a classic American style hotel, don't enjoy meeting new interesting people,don't make friends easily, or aren't interested in a super low key relaxing atmosphere, then you should look elsewhere.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.